NYC Tri Tips

The NYC Tri presents some unique challenges. None of them are insurmountable, but it helps to go in knowing what to expect. That way you can get the most out of your physical ability, and have the best race possible.  Here are a few tips for those of you who will be jumping into the Hudson on Sunday.

  • you need not study the entire USAT rulebook, but you do need to be familiar with the most common rules violations.
  • you must go to the official pre-race briefing. No, seriously.
  • you must leave your bike in transition on Saturday. Partially deflate your tires then or you risk having them explode from sitting in the sun.  Re-inflate to proper pressure on race morning. There will be neutral support and floor pumps in transition.
  • on race morning you must leave transition by 5:xx (depends on your transition, so check your athlete's handbook), so be sure to get there early. Security will not let you in if you arrive late. Crying and begging will not help, though bribery has been known to work. (Once again, I'm being serious.)
  • remember that you need to get from transition to the swim start, so leave ample time. You can check a bag at swim start, so you don't need to walk barefoot.
  • draft as much as possible during the swim. Also keep in mind that the current will have a greater impact away from the sea wall.
  • be sure to sight regularly during your swim.  Don't trust the swimmer in front of you to go straight.
  • do not try to stand too early at the end of the swim. The surface is muddy and sticky, and you can't walk in it. There will be volunteers to help you out of the water.
  • there is a considerable run from swim finish to T1.  Be sure to quickly go through the shower as you exit the water unless you want to have an oil slick goatee in your race photos. Then get your cap, goggles and the top of your wetsuit off.  You will be running down to T1 in a single lane. Move quickly - the clock is running Stay to your right or risk getting hit by an oncoming bike.
  • similarly, move quickly but in an organized fashion in the transition area.
  • leave your bike in a small ring to exit T1.  You'll begin on a narrow section along the water, make a sharp right turn, then go up a short, steep hill. You need to be in an easy gear for that hill and you need to slow down before the turn.
  • there are 180 degree turns at the top and bottom of the course.  The southernmost point is south of the finish, so you'll need to come back north for about a mile. During that mile be sure to stretch your back for a few seconds and spin a light gear.
  • you go through a toll for the Henry Hudson Bridge. There are rumble strips there to wake you up. The area is wide enough for your car to go through, so it's plenty wide enough for you to ride through without slowing down appreciably.
  • on the run be aware of your form and stay relaxed so you get your legs back as quickly as possible.
  • eat a normal, high carb diet and stay well hydrated from now through race day.
  • have a light breakfast 3 hours before the start. Take one gel 30-60 minutes before the start.
  • drink at least one full bottle of Gatorade or other fluid replacement drink on the bike. Having one gel late on the ride is a good idea as well.
  • drink to thirst on the run